As a lawyer, you most probably have a dream of owning and running your law firm one day. Owning your law firm as a professional allows you to wear two hats.
You have got to excel wearing the hat of a professional lawyer while at the same time running a law firm requires that you wear the hat of an entrepreneur.
This requires delicate balancing. You have to hone your skills as an entrepreneur in order to achieve the success you desire. You are in business to make money not run at a loss.
At times you may find yourself wearing more of the entrepreneurial hat as you try to make your business successful while you delegate the hat of performing the legal aspect of your job to partners and employees.
It is also possible that you may have someone else handle the business/entrepreneurial side of things while you focus on actually providing legal services without bothering too much about acquiring, retaining clients and the like.
You may be the main person saddled with the burden of balancing both. This roles may change depending on circumstances and the growth of your firm.
It is highly imperative that every legal practitioner who desires to own his or her own practice be well prepared in their venture as an entrepreneur.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 1999 defined entrepreneurship as:
“any attempt at new business or new venture creation, such as self-employment, a new business organization, or the expansion of an existing business, by an individual, a team of individuals, or an established business.”
As lawyers/entrepreneurs, we desire to be in complete control of our destiny. We steer our own ship, and have two possible outcomes: Sailing into a glorious sunset or swimming with the sharks. This appeals to lawyers who are ready to wear the hat of entrepreneurship and own their own firm/business and scares the crap out of those that just aren’t cut out for it and are just satisfied with being employed for their services and skills.
Entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park. The risks are many. The potentials are also great.
Here are 7-point checklists [summarized from www.sitepoint.com By Elena Fawkner] that will help you aspire for greatness as an entrepreneurial lawyer.
1. Confidence in Abundance: – Many times, this can be misunderstood as being cocky. There is a huge difference between cockiness and confidence. Becoming an entrepreneur comes with a lot of risks, but successful entrepreneurs have confidence in their idea as well as their ability to reach their goals.
An entrepreneur goes into every situation with an abundance of confidence. This doesn’t rule out the fact that an individual can be over-confident too. An entrepreneur will definitely make a lot of mistakes and will learn on the job.
2. Competition is great but Domination is Greater: – Be competitive. People make the mistake of getting too caught up in competing with the wrong players. Competition keeps you busy looking at the person instead of dominating. When you are competing just to compete you are putting yourself in the same category as the other competitors. You are too focused on what others are doing and end up doing the same thing the same way.
Competition compromises creativity. It keeps you jostling for number 1 position rather than making you dominate and keeping others a distant second. The creative edge always belongs to the person who seeks to do whatever it takes to dominate.
3. Creative Thinking & The Power of Focus: – Taking an idea or vision and turning it into a real business takes a creative mind. Starting a business involves many ups and downs that not everyone can handle. Staying 100% focused and seeing light at the end of the tunnel is paramount to survival.
4. Rise up early, sleep late phenomenon: – Entrepreneurship can drain you. While a regular worker or staff cannot wait to close at 5 or 6pm an entrepreneur will go the extra mile. An entrepreneur is constantly game planning and envisioning what needs to get done and how they will accomplish it. There is no dull moment and never a time that you have nothing to do.
5. Independence & self-motivated: – Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Some people need to be told what to do and while that is fine, it just doesn’t fly when it comes to creating a business. Entrepreneurs welcome challenges and set out to accomplish their mission independently, knowing that they will be successful.
6. Innovation: – The mindset of an entrepreneur is always to seek an improvement of how things are done. They never settle for that’s how it’s done. They seek for improvement at getting the job done better and more efficiently.
7. Failure is part of the package: – It doesn’t matter how many times you fall but rather how many times you get back up and try again. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs failed on their path to success, but instead of giving up they learned from their mistakes and made it.
Entrepreneurs are not all cut from the same mold, but possessing these qualities signal that you’re ready to achieve greatness.
What other traits and qualities do you believe are important for entrepreneurial success especially the entrepreneurial journey of owning your own law firm or practice?
CREDITS: By Elena Fawkner. https://www.sitepoint.com/entrepreneurs-checklist/